UGS Launches Comprehensive Velocity Series – PLM For The Mid-Market
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UGS Launches Comprehensive Velocity Series – PLM For The Mid-Market

UGS Corp. has launched the UGS Velocity Series portfolio, the PLM industry's first software solution to provide enterprise-level PLM to mid-size manufacturers in a pre-configured portfolio with a low total cost of ownership.

UGS made the announcement at the 2005 Solid Edge User Summit and Executive Symposium. Solid Edge digital product development software is part of the UGS Velocity Series portfolio.

A key component of UGS' newly-announced mid-market strategy along with a new Global Channel program, the UGS Velocity Series marks the first mid-market offering to combine industry-proven digital product development solutions with the unparalleled technology of UGS' Teamcenter product line. UGS Velocity Series is a comprehensive preconfigured software portfolio that integrates a new streamlined version of the Teamcenter offering for collaborative product data management (cPDM) -- called Teamcenter Express -- with UGS' mainstream 3D computer-aided design (CAD) application, Solid Edge, and Femap product offerings for powerful computer-aided engineering analysis (CAE).

"The UGS Velocity Series is about speed -- speed personified. For our customers it means speed of deployment and speed to market for their products," said Bruce Boes, vice president, UGS Velocity Series Marketing. "Now businesses of all sizes can rapidly deploy a high-performance PLM program previously only available to companies with greater IT resources and larger budgets."

Leveraging Industry Best Practices

Mid-size manufacturers can leverage the power of the UGS Velocity Series to transform their process of innovation while maintaining a low total cost of ownership. The UGS Velocity Series uses the industry's best practices to provide significant breakthroughs in ease-of-use and deployment.

"UGS' research has absolutely nailed the needs of manufacturing companies in the mid market segment," said Monica Schnitger, senior vice president, Market Analysis, Daratech Inc. "The announcement of the UGS Velocity Series illustrates a clear commitment by UGS to provide solutions to the mid-market while offering a clear path for future scalability, unmatched by competitive offerings targeted at the mid-market. The inclusion of Teamcenter Express in the Velocity Series provides UGS with an important advantage as they seek to expand their presence in the mid-market and build on the solid foundation of NX and Solid Edge."

Mid-size manufacturers like Pella -- one of the world's leading developers of premium-quality windows and doors -- need the power of enterprise-level data management capabilities but at a price and usability point not offered previously in the industry.

"UGS Velocity Series is the perfect combination of functionality and ease- of-use for mid-sized manufacturers like us," said Ken Grundey, engineering CAD specialist, Pella Corp. "We need intuitive software that requires little training and support. We are excited about Teamcenter Express. In the areas of cPDM, we need an invisible system -- a program that is seamlessly integrated into our processes. Teamcenter Express seems to be the right fit of data and process management for companies our size."

Functionality and Knowledge

The UGS Velocity Series portfolio provides important functionality to mid- size manufacturers, gained through years of experience with application- specific domains, codeless workflow automation, knowledge capture and secure collaboration. This knowledge enables UGS to provide Teamcenter Express coupled with Solid Edge and Femap capabilities to deliver mid-size manufacturers more advanced tools, with the ease of use and low total cost of ownership that they require.

The UGS Velocity Series allows mid-size manufacturers to effectively compete with larger companies who command superior resources by: "UGS Velocity Series products improve the speed, efficiency, and quality of the engineering environment at a low cost of ownership through two important features," said Bill McClure, vice president, UGS Velocity Series Development, UGS. "First, the portfolio is offered standalone or integrated and is completely scalable to our full PLM solutions portfolio. Second, UGS Velocity Series provides preconfigured best practices in a Windows environment, which enables easy implementation, training and usability. Furthermore, through its built-in integration with a wide variety of third- party applications, the UGS Velocity Series continues to build on our 'Open by Design' strategy."

This is a big announcement by UGS with big implications for a relatively untapped market for true PLM tools - small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs - what UGS terms "mid-market"). With this announcement, UGS has addressed the three areas that are of the greatest interest to SMBs - CAD (Solid Edge), CAE (Femap Express for FEA), and PDM (Teamcenter Express). Are they the first to provide a comprehensive toolset that encompasses the three areas? Well, no, not exactly, but what they are offering is scalable; associative with its big brothers, NX and Teamcenter; and will be available through a channel that the company claims will expand by 50% by the end of next year. This all provides a perception and sense of cooperation throughout the company, and not competition within the company going after the same customers.

SMBs face many of the same issues as large organizations, such as global sourcing, product customization, accurate and timely quotes, program management, integrated design, and increased regulatory requirements. While these SMBs have previously focused on discrete, stand-alone design, manufacturing, and data management applications, they have increasingly realized that they may need a better integrated PLM product suite to compete.

In addition, UGS has found that mid-size manufacturers face a burgeoning amount of 3D data but have limited resources for dealing with this data. For example, most companies have small IT staffs, little or no documented processes, and limited training resources. Historically, these mid-size manufacturers have faced these issues with isolated products from multiple vendors and no scalability. These are exactly the sore points that UGS hopes to address with the Velocity Series.

According to AMR Research, mid-market is the fasting growing segment in PLM, growing at 12 percent annually. In addition, AMR estimates spending on non-CAD PLM, such as collaborative product data management (cPDM), will drive a substantial portion of that increased investment. AMR reports that mid-market manufacturing (defined by AMR as companies with between $30 million and $999 million in annual revenues) is the fastest growing segment of CAD/PLM application spending growing at 12 percent annually, as compared with the overall market average of 9 percent. Based on this, UGS estimates its mid-market potential (companies with revenues below $750M) will grow from $3.8 billion in 2004 to $6.4 billion in 2009.

This announcement (actually a series of announcements) acts as a much-needed jump start for Solid Edge. While it has held its own quite well with regard to CAD features and capabilities compared with the competition, it has lacked some things typically associated with a true integrated PLM offering. Yes, Solid Edge has had Insight for a while for PDM and collaboration, and add-on applications for CAE, but the level of integration and user interface commonality held it back with the limitations they imposed. Also, I have felt that Solid Edge lacked the marketing oomph and enthusiasm that the competition had been putting forth. At least for now, it seems that UGS is addressing some past deficiencies and attempting to make up lost ground as it launches the Velocity Series portfolio. It's scalable, associative, and has a common look, feel and behavior between products - all good things.

Overall, I think the Velocity Series is all going to be a big deal for UGS and a good deal for current and future customers, especially SMBs.

The Week's Top 5

At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.

Ford Delivers Fleet Of Hydrogen Focus Fuel Cell Vehicles
Ford Motor Co. handed over the keys to five hybrid hydrogen Ford Focus Fuel Cell vehicles as part of a five city 30 car program to conduct real world testing of fuel cell technology. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will get three vehicles and Progress Energy will receive the other two. The Ford Focus Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) represents Ford's commitment to advancing the use and development of alternative fuel technologies. It is one of the industry's first hybridized fuel cell vehicles combining the improved range and performance of hybrid technology with the overall benefits of a fuel cell. Ford has been conducting fuel cell research for more than 10 years and believes fuel cell vehicles could be commercially viable by the middle of the next decade. Ford is actively engaged in the development of four promising future alternatives to today's gasoline engines, including clean diesels, gasoline- electric hybrids, hydrogen internal combustion engines (H2ICE) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Lenovo Upgrades To CATIA V5
Dassault Systemes announced that the new ThinkPad Z60 was designed with CATIA V5. The ThinkPad development team has used CATIA for several years to help with the design process for ThinkPad systems. Lenovo says that CATIA V5's design and analysis capabilities were key to the development of the ThinkPad Z60 and enabled the company to bring the model to market faster. The ThinkPad Z60 features a new inner armor chassis - a "roll cage" - that reduces the amount of stress on internal components when the notebook is dropped. The internal components, including the hard disk drive, are mounted in a one-piece magnesium cage that forms a more protective shell than traditional casings without affecting usability.

UGS Launches Solid Edge V18
UGS Corp. launched Solid Edge Version 18, its 3D CAD system that serves as a key component of the UGS Velocity Series the company announced this week. Solid Edge is the CAD component of the new UGS Velocity Series, a comprehensive, pre-configured portfolio of digital product design, analysis and data management software for the PLM mid-market. Version 18 delivers hundreds of enhancements. With its Insight technology, Solid Edge became the only mainstream mechanical system to merge design management capabilities with the CAD tools that designers use every day. Version 18 builds on Insight for CAD/PDM integration, letting customers choose from a range of scalable cPDM solutions. The new Solid Edge embedded client provides seamless and transparent connectivity between Solid Edge and Teamcenter, including the newly announced Teamcenter Express solution for multi-cad, multi site implementations with more advanced workflow needs. Solid Edge Version 18 introduces two complementary methods for designs to be analyzed and validated earlier in the design cycle. The first -- Femap Express -- is built into Solid Edge and provides pre-configured, best practice, process guidance for accurate analysis of solid and sheet metal parts. Second, Solid Edge integrates further and is associative with Femap, a CAD-independent finite element analysis (FEA) tool for advanced analysis to ensure quality and optimize materials within complete assemblies. Both FEA tools utilize Nastran solver technology for accurate and repeatable results.

Number Of Jobs In U.S. Manufacturing Sector Climbs As Wage Increases Slow
U.S. manufacturing employers had an easier time filling key positions in September. However, the growth in new hire compensation slowed and employers' expectations for future hiring dropped below what they were in September of 2004, according to new numbers from the Leading Indicator of National Employment (LINE), released by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations. Meanwhile, overall employment in the manufacturing sector recovered from an August dip. Such a rise in job numbers in the sector runs counter to the usual pattern in which manufacturing typically adds fewer jobs in September than in August. Employment expectations also declined to the lowest level since January. The LINE data suggests that the manufacturing job market was stronger in September than in August, but may soften slightly in October.

Airbus Uses Windchill To Support Collaborative Product Development On A380 Programs
PTC announced that Airbus has extended the use of PTC's Windchill to collaborate with customers and its suppliers while developing order-specific variants of the A380 passenger and A380 freighter aircraft lines. Airbus is now directly integrating customers into the Airbus Extended Enterprise using a Windchill-based digital mock-up (DMU) solution. Airbus' Extended Enterprise Program has also been broadened to include supplier collaboration. The DMU solution deployed by Airbus uses an integrated set of capabilities provided by several PTC products. Windchill is used as the product data management system to manage CAD models and drawings developed by a distributed product development team. The CAD environment is heterogeneous with a mix of PTC's CAD products and multiple versions of CAD products from other vendors. Windchill also provides configuration management and controls the change and release processes so the DMU is under formal configuration control. CAD models from different systems are integrated by mock-up integrators in a single virtual assembly. Designers and manufacturing engineers are now able to work simultaneously to build the DMUs, using various configured DMU views, before releasing the design for manufacturing and assembly.

Jeffrey Rowe is the editor and publisher of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached here or 408.850.9230.

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